To start with, I am married and mentally 100% childfree and my wife, though not completely committed to the viewpoint, is gradually coming to terms with what the reality is like for parents in a modern life. When I look around I see hordes of people everywhere. Traffic jams every day. Long lines in stores. The quality of life seems to be going down by the year. The reason? Expanding population, whether by birth or immigration.
I have several friends who have recently had kids. Who I once knew as energetic and productive people have now settled into an existence of stress-laden parental mediocrity. It is not that the human species is at a risk of getting wiped out, or that bringing new humans into this crowded world is a community service, but it might still be worth it if a kid is brought out of strong desire, raised to be an well-rounded mature adult, not project babies meant to be shown off like labradoodles. Yet I still see smart couples falling for the same old wrong reasons like biological urge, parental and peer pressures, and to make a so-called picture perfect family life. In the old days, kids were a true economic asset. Large families lived together, working on a farm or common business, and children were essential to support and continue the whole infrastructure and eventually take care of aging parents. Now, in the age of urban life and nuclear families, they have suddenly become nothing but a mounting liability. They grow up spoilt by their working parents who try to compensate for the quality time they can't spend with them, and leave the nest as soon as they grow up. It costs a staggering $300k to raise one child from birth till high school. College is altogether a different story of debt and scam. From the viewpoint of a CF man who values his freedom and productivity enormously - what is in it for me? Nothing. Nada. Zero. I have to give up my precious free time, freedom, energy and enough money that could take us both on numerous trips to places we would never otherwise see.
I remember how much sacrifice my parents made. Even though they got their satisfaction because myself and my sister turned out decent enough, I don't see why I even need that emotional reward at all. I can spend time on hobbies and volunteer for good causes and get as much or more pleasures out of them. The fact that smart people like us still become parents without thinking critically saddens me. Why one needs a kid should be a much bigger question than why one doesn't. Parenting is not a default thing. Marriage is nothing other than a monogamous bond, and children are never a part of the deal. Yet the media keeps brainwashing us for their own benefit, for families are the biggest consumers of a myriad of products. It is a vicious cycle and it makes me sick. The true responsible ones are those who stay away from parenting with the smallest doubt in the commitment involved. And those who take it up after thinking hard and preparing for the life changes. It is a popular opinion that men only grow up after becoming parents. What complete hogwash !